Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe, Black, reviews, comments

Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe, Black

The Cuisinart 4-Cup Coffeemaker is just the right size for that coffee lover in your house. The stainless steel carafe has a comfortable handle and a dripless pour spout to make serving flavorful coffee easy. Includes two consumer-favorite features: Brew Pause, to let you sneak a cup mid-cycle, and a worry-free 30-minute shutoff. The compact design takes up minimal counter space and is easy to store.


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Comments / reviews:
I hemmed and hawed about a small coffee maker and ended up buying this at a B, B, & B store locally. I have used a Cuisinart DCC-1100 12-cup maker for a couple years and so can compare the 2 machines well. I took a few pics of it as well.

First: this is a compact machine. It says 4 'cups' - and means 5 oz. cups. Many/most coffeemakers are set up that way. The water measure is very accurate (as with the DCC-1100). I don't use the pot to fill the tank - I just use a spare water or pop bottle that is 20 oz. (5 oz. x 4 'cups' = 20 oz.). It is MUCH easier to fill the tank with a bottle. Besides, if you just look in the tank, there are "steps" for 2c, 3c, 4c. in it (see the pic). When the water is level with or just over the step, there you go. Easy.

Second: the extraction and brew is excellent. I opened the lid to check a few times, the grounds are underwater. I am using 1 TBSP coffee (Gevalia or Peet's, a finer grind) per "cup" and have great taste. I bought the gold GTF filter and I think the taste is a little better than using Melitta #2 filters (but the paper filters have faster cleanup).

Third: along with great taste/strength, the temp is HOT. The pot is metal, but not insulated, so do not touch it or you may get burned. When you push in the switch to turn it on, it will only be on for 30 minutes, which is not very long. You can always pour any leftover coffee into a thermal mug if it shuts off.

Fourth: brew times. I used a stopwatch to test them:
For 2 cups: 4:25
For 3 cups: 5:30
For 4 cups: 7:30
(these are when it is all done sputtering and spitting) It is not the fastest, but the taste is GREAT, so it's worth it.

Fifth: regarding the carafe and spout. I think it has been redesigned since 2009 or so. I'll post a pic. The spout is set down and curved, and the pot lid has a bunch of small holes by the spout so it won't all dump out. I have had no troubles with any drips or leaks. None. To get the lid off, pivot the HANDLE side up FIRST (the spout end is resting under a small plastic projection). That way it is easy to get the lid off.

Overall, the coffee taste, strength, and temperature is very similar to the full-size DCC-1100 maker. I wanted to try the small one for easier cleanup and a smaller footprint on the counter. This 4-cup maker is making good tasting, HOT coffee. Be sure to use good-tasting water, and fresher coffee, and you'll be all set.

Cons: I suppose the lack of a timer; also, the maker shuts off in only 30 minutes from when you turn it ON (not 30 minutes after the brew is done). Thus, the plate heats only for 22 to 24 minutes.

I can't vouch for the long-term reliability - I've only used it about a week. But once you taste how it brews, you'll like it. I am impressed thus far. From experience I can say that keeping the metal pot clean is VERY important as it won't stay as smooth as glass does, and it can harbor old taste and smells. Besides washing after each use, you can periodically use Citric acid or vinegar solution, or even baking soda + dish soap to remove any stains or smells.

UPDATE: August 2014
Still using this little pot, and it works great. No leaks or problems. Still great taste, and hot temperature. Be sure to properly insert the lid (spout end first, then pivot down to handle) and also be sure the basket is fully seated, and no leaks. If it had a timer I would give it 5 stars.

I did some temperature testing; after brewing a pot, I put a thermometer in it and it was 180 *F. Very hot. Overall, it is very compact and convenient vs. a big maker, since I'm the main coffee drinker. I've been using "Brew Rite" cleaner and that works better than vinegar, it cleans fully with NO smell or aftertaste.

Update: Dec. 2015
Still using this pot, it seems to work well, and it still makes hot coffee. The warming plate has a couple scratches and is showing some wear, but I still wipe it gently with a clean wet washcloth each day. One thing I've noticed over time is that the coffee can get really *HOT* if you leave it on the burner, especially if only a little is in the pot. *At times it can make it taste burnt/scalded.* I usually like to add liquid creamer, and I pour it only a minute or so after it's done brewing, so it's not all the time I notice that. I usually set it up the night before work, plug it in, so when I saunter into the kitchen I can just push the button to start it.

Update: Jan. 2016:
I am noticing that the taste seems off lately - I think the metal pot is making the coffee burnt/scalded/too hot? I compared it to the DCC-1100 maker, and the coffee tastes a bit better in the glass pot. Perhaps after a year or so it starts running too hot? The flavor is better if I use a Melitta filter (it has pores) or the gold tone filter, versus a normal white filter (the first 2 allow the water to drain through the filter faster). I brewed around 4 cups on the DCC-1100 maker, on the "1-4" setting, and compared it. The larger maker made a bit better tasting coffee. I think if the 4-cup maker had a glass pot, it would taste better (but then easier to break...)

UPDATE again - May 2016:
Okay, sorry for the long review, sometimes I can be wordy... I decided to test this out some more recently. On vacation I retested some Gevalia House Blend, and it was good tasting coffee, rich and smooth but not burnt. So, at home, I used some Gevalia Guatemala coffee, and it came out quite good, hot, flavorful. ** I seemed to have worse flavor when using darker, more roasted (burnt?) coffees like Starbucks and Caribou. They were tasting bad, maybe it was overextracting them?

So I'll say that a Medium or Light roast coffee can taste pretty good, and hot in this maker; the flavor with Melitta #2 filters (have pores) or the Cuisinart GTF-4 gold filter is better than plain white filters. I still wipe up any spills from the hot plate, and run a 1/3 vinegar brew every 4-5 weeks, and it is pretty clean. If the filter basket weren't as finicky to double check for being fully seated, it would be better. If the coffee comes out a little too strong with fine grinds (Peet's, Gevalia, etc.) at 1 TBSP per "cup", then I just use 1/2 TBSP less in total.

I will say that coffee tastes better if you don't leave it on the hot plate a long time; I think it heats it too hot when I do. So I just brew what I want, wait a minute after the sputtering is done, and pour it into a travel mug so it doesn't 'cook' on the burner. Wow, have had this over 2 years now, and it is still working perfectly. Hey, maybe Cuisinart could send me some dinero/tips/remuneration for the thorough review? jk

I previously owned a 12-cup coffeemaker, which actually was too large as I am the only coffee drinker in the house. Not only being too large for my use, it took up extra space on my counter because it was too tall to fit under the cabinets. As such, I was thinking of buying a smaller coffeemaker, but the one I had still worked very well so it didn't make sense to buy a new one. Then the carafe broke which opened up the possibility for me to purchase a smaller one. I read the previous reviews on this product, and I would disagree whole-heartedly with any of the negative reviews. For example, that the basket opens during brewing is in error because you need to snap the lid down before brewing. If you snap it in place, it will not open. Then I read that the carafe gets too hot, but why would you touch a hot carafe in the first place? It is made of stainless (thus unbreakable like glass carafes!) so would be very hot to the touch...DUH!! If you are looking for a smaller coffeemaker that works well and takes up less counter-top space than larger coffeemakers, this is the right coffeemaker for you. It's well constructed; definitely not made from cheap materials. It also feels very solid, much more so than my previous machine. I would highly recommend this to anyone. The only con I have is the carafe lid is a bit hard to take off the carafe; but that's such a minuscule negative that it really doesn't counter how great this coffeemaker really is.

So far, so good. I am totally pleased with this little coffeemaker. I was a little bit leery after reading reports that it dripped horribly. I bought it anyway, however, because several of the solutions that had been proposed by reviewers seemed totally reasonable (hang the spout over the edge of the cup, keep the spout clean to prevent the disruption of water tension, and always pour s-l-o-w-l-y). I couldn't be more pleased.

If you're looking for a small volume, compact coffeemaker, there are few really great choices. I've had a 4-cup coffeemaker from another manufacturer - talk about DRIPPY! You had to lift the lid with your thumb to pour coffee without making a huge mess. Plus, the coffee never tasted good, no matter how fresh and high-quality my beans were. The Cuisinart 4-cup coffeemaker is cleverly designed and well-made, and the coffee it has brewed up so far has been superb. I like the fact that the carafe is durable, I like (need!) the automatic shut-off feature, and I'm thrilled with its cheery red color and great coffee. I will revise my review if the Cuisinart 4-cup develops dripping problems, but no spillage yet. Yes, we're still in the honeymoon phase. But so far, I'm in love. :-)

UPDATE: Still in love, 10 months later. I have not suffered any of the problems that other reviewers listed. I love its simplicity and cheery appearance, the coffee tastes great, and the automatic shut-off has saved me more than once. I would definitely buy this little coffeemaker again.

I just brewed my first pot. There's nothing wrong with this little coffee pot, folks.

To counter a few points made by others: The carafe does not dribble. There are little steps inside the water reservoir that make it super-simple to fill the right amount of water. The carafe lid is removed by pulling it toward the spout; it then pops off starting from the handle side. Regarding the paint on the hot plate ...I don't know if the paint is going to chip off of it, and I really don't care if it does. And finally, the carafe does indeed get hot; one should expect that from a carafe filled with hot coffee.

It took six minutes to brew four cups. (That's actually two full-size coffee cups.) I recommend that you just go ahead and order the #2 cone filters at the same time as they are not commonly available.

This will be my new travel coffee maker. Because there is no way of knowing the history of those hotel-furnished coffee makers.

I have a black one that is around 7 years old and a red one that is 3 years old. Neither have failed me. I just bought the red one for fun. Brightens the morning. For those who complain about the 30 minute shut off my solution is to hit the start button again when I get my second cup so that my last cup is hot. If the light is on I just turn the machine off and on again. Been doing this for years. Makes excellent coffee. I use a quality coffee -- drip grind or grind it myself to that consistency. Peets is what I buy. I also purchased the gold filter for convenience-- I forget to buy paper filters-- and deal with the clean up which isn't that onerous. My experience is that this is a very reliable coffee maker. It is nice to have two in case of company. I usually have two different blends on hand so I can serve two different coffees. I think some of the complaints are a little picky. There is no universally perfect coffee maker out there.

I've now had this little beauty just over a week and have used it to make my breakfast coffee each morning. It's GREAT! I'm now enjoying what I'm sure is the best coffee I've ever had - bar none. Over the past several years I've gone through at least three of the big-name, 12 cup, all-the-bells-and-whistles machines, none of which lasted more than about two years and none of which made coffee with any where near the great flavour that this simple little, down-to-earth one does. I'm an eighty-one year old single chap so only need enough for myself and this machine's perfect. I just pour in water to the three cup level (clearly marked, I might add) drop in a #2 paper filter and four measures of coffee, (I like my coffee a tad on the strong side) press the "on" switch and go get the rest of my breakfast. Five to six minutes later I have two mugs of super delicious "brew" ready and waiting for me.

I saw that some other owner commented that it was "slow." Perhaps it is a minute or two slower than many others - but that's exactly what is needed to deliver the rich, robust flavour that this machine does. Allow for it - and love it! Just be sure to start with a top quality Arabica coffee and use a good bottled (not tap) water. You be both surprised and delighted!

I read ALL of the negative reviews and bought it anyway. Either they've fixed the problems, many people are clumsy, or the bad reviews are fakes from competitors. I love this Coffeemaker !

Water opening hard to pour into? Maybe a little but so is every other unit I've owned. Just use the marks (easy to see) in the main tank and don't try to pour the last drop from the pot. Flimsy? So it's made of plastic. I'm a 70 year old man and there's no way I'll break anything. Just be a little careful. Pouring problems? They must have fixed it, I have no problems. Coffee tastes bad? Really? As good as any percolated I've ever tried. Just buy better coffee if you need to. I prefer the paper filters and don't use the wire basket. Better taste, quicker, and less mess to clean. YMMV

I switched from Kuerig because I recently retired and now have more time than money. Now spending less than a third of the cost with almost no downside. I was buying K cups at Costco and it was costing me about $40 a month for coffee. Now I buy Costco pre-ground or whole beans and grind them in the store in the large can size and spend $15 or less a month. Saved the cost of the coffee maker in one month!

It's 4 in the morning as I write this (couldn't sleep) and I'm sipping a great cup of coffee at a price that feels like free compared to Keurig. My wife loves the red in her kitchen, I love the coffee, and the price is right. What's not to love??

I've been using this model coffee pot for over 10 years. The first one had the annoying pouring problem but that design flaw was fixed years ago. My second one lasted 6 years which is reasonable given that I used to travel with it. I just pulled out my third one that I bought 3 years ago as a spare. Yes, you read that right--I keep a spare in case this model gets discontinued. I love that it is compact, makes great coffee (cones rule!), and is unbreakable stainless. It doesn't matter to me that it lacks a timer.
As with any coffee maker, I clean it every few months by running a vinegar/water solution with a filter followed by two water only cycles. That takes away any buildup that may affect the coffee's taste.
Love this coffee maker. Time to buy another spare to ensure I have great coffee for the next 10 years.

This is a terrific small coffeemaker, just right for one person. It is compact and attractive. The set-up of preparing the coffeemaker is very minimally different than I had seen before, but easy to adapt to. It brews very tasty coffee in a relatively quick time, and I believe it uses a bit less coffee than my old basket type coffeemaker. It also makes both dark and medium grind coffee well. (I haven't tried light grind yet.) I do not find there is any metallic taste from the stainless steel pot, and it is my first such pot, so I was a bit dubious about that. The coffee is hot. I pour it into a thermos, turn off the coffee maker and rinse it, then enjoy my coffee without any further distraction or fuss. So easy. An overall very pleasant change in my morning coffee routine. Glad that I purchased it.

It's a great mystery why this machine makes such great coffee.

I had one of these, which amazon says I purchased in 09/13, but it disappeared in a move.

For the record, I now have 4 coffeemakers -- all different. A larger Black and Decker, which I will use one day when I have enough guests to take it out of the cabinet; a Cuisinart iced cappuccino machine (a total flop due to idiotic marketing; it doesn't make iced cappuccino, just coffee w/crema); a Vandal stove top; and this new cuisinart dcc-450bk.

All drip-type coffeemakers operate the same. They superheat water and the water drains through the inserted coffee. I have used the same coffee w/different machines and nothing but nothing compares to the outstanding taste of this machine's coffee. I don't get it and I never will. But other customers have also written rave reviews about this little machine, so it's not just me.

Take really good care of it. The plate where the carafe sits can burn, so be sure the bottom of the carafe has no residue on it.

In my opinion, this makes an amazing gift due to the price -- for someone who doesn't need a humungous coffeemaker. I'd still like to know what it does differently from other machines, but this is going to remain one of life's great mysteries.

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